The Slightly Glimpsed Peanuts

Having read through my copy of Unseen Peanuts (being given out for free on Free Comic Book Day next Saturday — yes, my elves have secured me a copy already), I should note that in addition to having about 150 strips that were not in US reprint books until the Complete Peanuts series, it also contains editor Kim Thompson’s commentary on why the strips shown may have been excluded from previous reprint projects. This, in addition to the novelty of it all, makes the book worth getting (particularly when priced at “Free”!) even if you have all of the Complete Peanuts volumes.

Reading through it brought an answer to something else I’d been considering lately, and that has to do with the Determined Productions gift books — Happiness is a Warm Puppy and the books which followed it (which will be coming out in that nifty-looking gift box – have you ordered yours yet?). While the art in the first volumes looks clearly original, some of the material in the later ones seemed like it might have been recycled strip art (some of the gags in even the first one were taken from the strip.)

On page 21 of Unseen Peanuts, they run a week’s worth of strips that includes not just one but two that, while never reprinted completely in a US Peanuts book, had their closing panels turned into two-page spreads in Suppertime. First is this one:

Watched supper dish

The text of the word balloon gets moved onto the left-hand page of Suppertime, and the image is used on the right-hand page.

But the one that really caught my eye was the second one:

cutting down my rations

As you can see, when they turned it into a Suppertime spread, they didn’t fully clean up the art:

rations spread in Suppertime

That stray line behind Snoopy’s head always bothered me. I thought it might have been an incomplete indication of some background, but as we can now see, it’s a piece of the word balloon!

I’m going to have to change how I describe these books on my list of Peanuts prose-and-picture books, since it’s not original art as I originally posted. It will be a while before I can get around to that, however; I’m doing some work on the follow-ups to my newest short Licensable BearTM animation.

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